T Nation

Test Driving the Alpha Stim

After reading Chris Shugart’s intriguing article regarding the Alpha Stim microcurrent technology, I’ve been scouring the research, testimonials and possible applications of this technology to help me beat this CFS demon. Having spent copious amounts of money on various supplements and miracle cures, I’ve become disillusioned and very skeptical whenever I hear about something that is supposed to aid people in curing their ills.

Because I trust the opinions of people like Chris and other T-mag writers, I felt compelled to investigate this microcurrent gizmo further. Fortunately me for me, one of the few places that sells these things in Australia lives 5 minutes from me and kindly allowed me to have a free 20 minute session test run. Previous to this session, I had relapsed pretty bad last week for the first time in months and my head has been feeling like Dave Tate just squatted 800 pounds on it. Still, I gave this thing 20 minutes of my time, not expecting anything.

When I turned it on I felt the tingling sensation and prickling feeling on my ears as the machine did it's thing. I also noticed that I felt extremely heavy, and somewhat disorieted for a few minutes, which after a while dissappated.

By the end of the session I felt somewhat relaxed. The owner who is a psychologist gives these too his patients to use, and said that they report better results from an hour of use over the 20 minutes.

Anyway, the initial relaxing feeling I experienced was nothing like the calming effect it had on me for the rest of the day. Having an illness doesn't exactly make you the most happiest person in the world, and the smallest things can make you irritable and snappy. However I noticed that for the whole day and night, NOTHING in the least could phase me. I felt an alertness mixed with a calm feeling of contentment. Even though the "brain fog" hasn't totally dissappated, I can now string together some coherent sentences and comprehend what I am reading with some degree of clarity. That night I slept like I have never slept before. Surely this can't be a placebo effect. Nothing has made this much difference before in one day than this.

Incidently my wife's friend suffers from terrible fibromyalgia (yes we are a healthy bunch down under!) and was so happy about the Tmag article that she can't wait to try it.

Before I shell out the $900 clams for one of these things however I want my wife to try it, so I can justify the expense. As she supports my sick ass, I feel bad imposing this sort of cost on her. All I can say is thankyou very much Chris and Tmag for providing this kind of information to your readers - and I just wanted to thank you and let you know you are helping people around the world not only in making a difference to their physiques but a difference to their lives. Sorry if that sounds too "Bill Phillips-BFL" for you but I feel very happy this morning.:)

I will keep you updated on my progress - oh and before I sign off Chris - do you know of any distributors in Australia that sell Powerdrive? I've never tried it before and the distributor near me said they haven't been able to get Biotest products for a while. I need the edge (and the insurance!) before I take my final exams this semester and graduate from university. Thanks again Chris.

Glad to hear the stim may do the trick for you, Random! The first stim is always the most powerful, probably because things are so out of whack (bio-electrically speaking), but then the effects are cumulative after that so it’s all good.

Not sure about Power Drive down under, but write to service@biotestedge.com and they should be able to hook you up. If you can’t get ahold of it, take three grams of tyrosine and 200 mg caffeine on an empty stomach 20 minutes prior. Just make sure you’ve haven’t had much caffeine all week.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Thanks Chris. One other thing. What unit do you recommend getting - the CES one or the MET one. Am I right in assuming you can use the more expensive MET model for both functions while the CES model treats mainly fatigue, stress, depression etc? I mainly want to use it for it’s effect on cognitive functioning and relieving fatigue, so would the cheaper CES model suffice. The MET model would set me back $1700 otherwise. Thanks

get one if you cab afford it. I use it for the to beat back the modern day stress stuff that we all have. For pain and injuries, i8 still go for the ART.

Yes, the CES is brain only; MET (the unit in the article photo) comes with pads and probes for the body and also the ear clips for CES treatments. That’s because after a body treatment, you should always do a brain treatment.

CES treats depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Works for a lot of other stuff too, but legally, they can only list those ailments. Sounds like CES would be fine for you. I don’t use the body treatments much myself, mainly just on other people. Most recently on my mother who had a lifting injury (58 years old and pumping iron four days a week at 6AM! Runs stairs two other mornings a week!)

It sounds like the CES would be the one you need, but be sure and talk to the Alpha-Stim people about your condition. There may be reason to treat the body in your case, but I don’t know enough about it to be sure. Off hand, I’d say go for the cheaper model.

A little off topic, I think a CES treatment right after ART or a massage would be ideal. Dr. Kirsch explained it better than I could, but basically there’s little reason to treat the body and not “reprogram” the brain. Think of it as adding hardware to your computer without the proper drivers. In my opinion, CES should go hand in hand with ART and other such treatments.

the unit cost me about 645$ with cod fee aND S&H. I ordered it from LSI international. maybe if you pull it up on the web, you can say you’re a psychologist, PT, or some counselor, or whatever. Now the price might be up a 100$, I didn’t check since april.
My model has the ear clips, wand, and two seperate leads that can accomodate four total electrodes.

I really needed this feedback, I am seriously considering it for my insomnia, depression and floating anxiety. I have to admit I am incredibly skeptical, but I am at the point I feel I could try anything.

I just ordered an alpha stim unit from LSI International. It was about $600 before S&H. I have a quesion for you though, did LSI ask you to provide proof that you are a health care professional? They din’t have any questions like that on the order form and I want to make sure I will be able to receive my order.

shit, i hope it works for you random, i was kinda hoping that you were getting this CFS thing beaten, i know that im a miserable moaning whore when even the slightest illness befalls me…are you managing to get any exercise in at all? i was impressed with your photos over in AE last year, to have attained a physique like that, then to become ill and lose 99% of it…anyway, i hope everything works out for ya

I usually order myself from the catalog that comes from my office. They’ve never asked for proof such as a copy of my license. I don’t see why a private citizen can’t order. However, at one time tens units were aprescription device. I think it was more that the cost was prohibitive, instead of being restricted to health care professsionals. microcurrent was about 4000 to 6000 in the 80’s which put it out of the hands of the average guy.

Hi Lazyeye, yeah I apologise for coming off a bit of a whiner myself and constantly posting to the forum with questions regarding CFS. It’s just that a lot of the advice that has made a big difference to my recovery has been derived from this and a few other forums. I find most doctors pretty ignorant of this illness as well as the supplements that can help people out. Which probably explains the fact why I still keep up with Tmag and the forum despite the fact that I haven’t touched a weight for well over 18 months. As for exercise, I try to get regular walks in every day, but I am wary about pushing it. I’m optimistic about returning to bodybuilding ONE DAY because it was my life’s passion. But I realise that shit happens and have come to terms with the reality that it just might not happen.

Ironically, the reason why my body has hit the shitter after much improvement was because I started taking my HRT again (testosterone enanthate) after a year of non use, and my body has just totally rejected it.

Anyway take it easy LazyEye and good luck with your HDT program!

doh…i didnt mean to suggest that your a misrible moaning whore random, i was refering to how hard done by i feel when im sick, not that i have really been sick thank god, ive only had a full blown flu once in my life.
anyway…let us know how the alpha stim works over the next few sessions, it sounds interesting (a bit mystic, but if it works…)